SynopsisIn the last passage, Balaam gave his first oracle from the LORD, and Balak was understandably displeased with it. (Well, it’s partially his own fault; Balaam warned Balak over and over that he could only say what the LORD put in his mouth.) In this passage, however, they’re going to give it the ol’ college try, and have another go at it.
This oracle worries Balak even more than the last one. In fact, in verse 25 he basically tells Balaam to stop uttering oracles at all: “Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!” But Balaam’s answer is still the same: he must do whatever the LORD tells him to do.
Then he uttered his oracle:
“Arise, Balak, and listen;
hear me, son of Zippor.
God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?
I have received a command to bless;
he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
“No misfortune is seen in Jacob,
no misery observed in Israel.
The LORD their God is with them;
the shout of the King is among them.
God brought them out of Egypt;
they have the strength of a wild ox.
There is no sorcery against Jacob,
no divination against Israel.
It will now be said of Jacob
and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
The people rise like a lioness;
they rouse themselves like a lion
that does not rest till he devours his prey
and drinks the blood of his victims.”